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Eric & Kristen

Eric & Kristen

You might be thinking, “They have three boys and full hands already!” You are only partially correct. Our three biological boys definitely keep us busy but they have also made us professional chaos coordinators. (We are still waiting for someone to issue us our award). We aren’t going to lie, some days feel long and hectic but our family believes full hands mean even fuller hearts. The days filled with fun and laughter outshine all the hard days.

When the Alexa alarm strikes 7:00, the brothers start making their way to the kitchen. Mom and Dad have been up for over an hour by now prepping to make it a smooth morning. We picture you sitting in the high chair awaiting their arrival. They walk by and tickle your toes or give you a quick pat on the top of the head. No three brothers are more loving and doting than Reece, Shawn, and Charlie. The morning playlist plays and we dance, sing, and laugh until the breakfast table clears and we are ready to get in the van to drive to school.

Our family is a master of teamwork, accomplishing all the tasks to make it out the door in time. They make goofy faces at you and sing to you when you fuss in your car seat before mom gets the van started and the rumble of the engine soothes you. I snap a quick video of you because Charlie sticking his tongue out at you makes you laugh! It’s your first giggle and we all agree that your birth mom and dad won’t want to miss this moment.

Reece and his entire baseball team declare you as their team mascot and they all love saying hi to you in between innings, and rub your head for good luck. Shawn has been talking to his class and teacher about adoption since we started our journey and begs me to bring you to class again to see all his friends. He even has them all using correct adoption language; a thing he is very proud about. You are the most popular baby in the whole school.

We dream of a big family; one that includes you and your family.

Charlie has gifted you all his favorite stuffies and loves to rock with you and sing you all the songs we used to sing to him. You are his favorite captive audience when he shows off his latest dance or gymnastic moves. They laugh and brag to us about how they are going to teach you all of their favorite things like secret handshakes and how to build the best forts, which sports teams to cheer for and which tree is dubbed the “pee tree” in our backyard. These three big brothers have the softest hearts for you and are your biggest protectors.

Okay, we will stop daydreaming for now, but this is no exaggeration. We are ready for you! This is a real example of how we see more kids fitting into our life.

Recently, we even moved out of our master bedroom so that we could move the three brothers into their own big bedroom with their own bathroom. We moved into the old “bunk bed room.” It has its own charm (including some boogers that needed to be scraped off the wall). Memory marks you could say. This freed up a room for a crib and toddler bed. We are ready for you or you and your sibling to join our family. The boys helped arrange stuffed animals and books and made the bed with their old sheets.

We dream of a big family; one that includes you and your family. We know the more people around us who love us and our children, the more happy and fulfilled life will be and it will be an honor for us to meet and love your family.

Our Story

We met in 9th grade English class and Eric liked Kristen right away and asked her out. We are not high school sweethearts though, because Kristen did not say yes. Don’t worry, because eventually Kristen said, “I do!”. In 2003, we started hanging out with the same friend group. Luckily for Kristen, Eric asked her out again. We became best friends, which turned to dating, then falling in love.

Eric knew how important family was to Kristen and asked not only her Dad, but her mom and siblings before he proposed. Eric was so excited that he just popped the question at home. Kristen loves to laugh about how she was still wearing her pajamas when it happened. We spent the next year planning our dream wedding and got married May 7th, 2011. It was a beautiful day, and we made it a point to have fun and enjoyed every part of the day.

We always talked about our strong desire to have a larger family. Once we were married and started building our family the topic of adoption always came up here and there. We continued expanding our family and had three amazing sons. Our sons were growing and reaching big milestones and we felt the nudge of adoption once again. Now feels like the time where everyone in our family is ready to welcome a child with open arms and adoption seems like the perfect fit.

Don’t worry, because eventually Kristen said, I do!
If you stopped by on a Saturday, you might see the kids helping Mom and Dad with a project, music playing, a college football game on the tv, or a movie night on the porch featuring Harry Potter or Marvel and movie theater-style popcorn.

Our Relaxation & Fun

Most of the time, you will find us hanging at home spending our time together. Some of our favorite activities are playing board games like What the Meme Family, rounds of Just Dance video game, 3D printing in the basement, watching shows about animals, playing on the trampoline, kitchen dance parties, kayaking in the lake at the end of our street, and playing sports in the backyard.

If you stopped by on a Saturday, you might see the kids helping Mom and Dad with a project, music playing, a college football game on the tv, or a movie night on the porch featuring Harry Potter or Marvel and movie theater-style popcorn.

Most of our summer is spent in Ludington. We love to be at the beach to swim, play in the sand, boogie board, search for sand glass and Petoskey stones, and explore the dunes. Ludington also means time with family. It has become a tradition for our siblings to come from out of state for a week in the summer.

Camping is also a favorite family activity. We camp in our backyard a lot and at a nearby state park. The kids love to help Eric set up camp and put up the tent, find sticks to put in the fire, tell stories, and make s’mores.

We also love to camp with Kristen’s cousins and have a tradition of all getting together once a year for a big campout weekend. It is fun to see our children and their generation bonding and having fun the way we did with our cousins when we were growing up.

Being together is very important to us and no matter what we are doing, from chores to errands, to cheering on siblings at sporting events, we are doing it as a family.

our adoption hopes

Gender: Any Gender, including an Ambiguous or Transitioning Gender Child

Ethnicities: Any Race and Ethnicity

Age: Newborn to 5 Years Old

Total of: 1 Child or A Sibling Group

a snapshot
of us

We Live In: Kalamazoo

Our Faith: Open to All Religions  

Pets: Both Cat(s) and Dog(s)

Kids Already: Three Children Now

Child Care Plan: Stay-at-Home Parent  

Our Family & Friends

Our oldest son is Reece, he is 10 years old and in 5th grade. Reece is a natural leader and is great at convincing his younger brothers to be excited about his ideas. He is so kind and is always happy to help anyone, he takes pride in being a good role model for his little brothers and is our rule follower.

Reece has a happy-go-lucky attitude that rubs off on anyone around him, he can chit chat and hold genuine conversations with his baby cousins to his 90-year-old great-grandma. Reece is so excited to have a child placed with our family and is a self-proclaimed, “baby person.”

Our middle son is Shawn, he is 8 years old and in 3rd grade. Shawn is a natural problem solver, if there is a task at hand, he will figure out how to get it done. He is a quick thinker and has his dad’s ‘engineer brain’.

Shawn is also very thoughtful and our most sensitive son, he always writes us love notes and always notices if you get a new shirt or change your hairstyle. Shawn is our jokester and loves a good prank and has an infectious laugh. He thinks it is “epic” that a child will be placed with our family.

Our youngest son is Charlie, he is 6 years old and in 1st grade. Charlie is tiny but mighty and holds his own when it comes to being the youngest of 3 brothers. You cannot help but smile when you meet Charlie, his bright red hair sets him out from the crowd.

Charlie is always singing / humming / and dancing and if he is passionate about something, boy are you going to hear a lot about it. Charlie is excited to finally join the ranks and become a big brother when a child is placed with us and we know he is going to be great at it.

Our kids are lucky to have wonderful grandparents on both sides. They all get along great and are all equally present in the kids’ lives. They dress up for themed birthday parties, read, color, play catch, attend sports, and school events. They are all beyond thrilled about the prospect of adding another grandchild to the family.

We love our big family. We have a lot of aunts, uncles, and cousins that live close by and that we see all the time. There are always babies around and we always make sure we get our turn to hold them and play with them. Our boys even argue about who got to hold the baby the most. It feels great to know you have a strong support system that is only a phone call away.

We consider ourselves very fortunate to have a great group of close friends. Many of the friendships began in high school and now we all have young kids that get along great when we all get together. We vacation together and celebrate birthdays. It is very special that we went to school together, have been through so much together, and now our kids are going to school together too.

We love our big family. We have a lot of aunts, uncles, and cousins that live close by and that we see all the time.
Our neighborhood has a tennis / pickleball / basketball court and a small park with a beach where we can swim, kayak, and fish.

Our Home & Neighborhood

We live in a ranch-style home on the top of a hill. It has 3 large bedrooms. We have plans to add a fourth bedroom someday. Our plan for a baby would be to stay in our nursery. We recently had all three brothers move into a big bedroom together to free up a room for a new child. They love living together and having a sleepover every night.

We have lots of space to hang out and play. We have two living areas on the main level, a screened porch, a deck, and a finished room in the basement where lots of the kids’ toys are.

We have a formal dining room and an eating area in the kitchen. We hope to remodel the kitchen and open the floor plan sometime in the future. The house is surrounded on 3 sides by woods and even though we are in a neighborhood, it feels very private. We have a nice tree-lined backyard with a playset and sandbox. There is plenty of room to play catch with a football or baseball. Our driveway is steep, but we made a removable fence that allows our kids to safely ride bikes and play basketball.

Our neighborhood has a tennis / pickleball / basketball court and a small park with a beach where we can swim, kayak, and fish. We have lots of great neighbors with kids of all ages. We love that our kids have lots of friends around to play with.

There is also a great park about 5 minutes away. It has baseball fields, open space, walking trails, and a playground. All the kids play Little League and football there. We are excited it is football season and Eric gets to help coach Shawn’s team.

Our Thoughts On...

Education

Lifelong learning is so important to us. We strive to model this by reading to our kids, teaching them about our hobbies and interests, and reading for ourselves. We also want our kids to work hard in school and learn as much as they can.

We actively communicate with their teachers and make sure they have the support they need to be successful. We also have a very broad interpretation of education. It does not just mean going to college. Learning a trade or other specialized skill is also a valuable form of education.

Correction & Discipline

As parents of three kids, we know that there is no single type of discipline that works every time. The personality and needs of each child determines what approach works best. Generally, we use time-outs, loss of privileges, and rewards and praise for good behavior.

We are very intentional about explaining the “Why?” in a particular situation so that our kids can understand the expectation and hopefully make a better choice in the future.

We also try to read about different parenting styles so that we can have a “toolbox” of techniques. We expect our kids to be well-behaved, but we do not expect perfection. Everyone makes mistakes and the most important thing is learning from them and trying to do better next time.

Our Faith Views

We both consider ourselves to be spiritual people. We both grew up going to church and would be happy to join a birth family in any services or events that were important to them. We want our kids to learn about the world and make their own choices. We will support them in their choices and we will continue to encourage them to show compassion and kindness at every opportunity.

We want our kids to learn about the world and make their own choices.
I enjoy seeing the big picture and planning for the future of my team.

Eric's Career

I work for a Tier 1 automotive manufacturer in Western Michigan. I manage a team of engineers and I love helping them develop professionally and find success in their roles. I also enjoy seeing the big picture and planning for the future of my team. I work primarily from home and really enjoy the flexibility that comes with it.

After placement, I plan to take some time off for bonding and then return to work full time. I will also continue working from home as much as possible to aid in child care arrangements.

Kristen's Career

I recently started working as Secretary at the elementary school that my children attend. What I love most about the job is that I get to interact with kids, parents, and teachers and help them solve problems and have a great school experience. I am lucky to be part of a really supportive office team and I am very happy with my new role.

After placement, I plan to take some time off for bonding and then I plan to use the childcare services offered within our school district.

What I love most about the job is that I get to interact with kids, parents, and teachers and help them solve problems and have a great school experience.

Eric

Year of Birth: 1983
Education: B.S. in Manufacturing Engineering from Kettering University
Occupation: Engineering Manager – Tooling
Family Background:

My family is from Western Michigan. I have Dutch, English, Irish, and other European heritage. My main family tradition is spending lots of time in Ludington, Michigan, where my mom grew up and lives today.
My dad and I also bonded over sports when I was young.

We watched all the Michigan sports teams together and he also helped to coach me. I am excited to continue this by coaching my sons’ teams as they grow up. I am not sure how I feel about them becoming Lions fans, but I think it is too late to save them.

Kristen

Year of Birth: 1983
Education: Some College
Occupation: Secretary
Family Background:

My family is from all over Michigan. I have mostly German and Polish heritage. My family traditions include big birthday parties, holiday celebrations, and vacations at Lake Michigan.

Now that I have nieces and nephews, I love to tie-dye t-shirts for them and my kids so we can take a special 4th of July picture of them all together. Mostly it is about spending quality time together and being there for each other.

We just want to say

We already know that you are strong and brave and that you are making one of the most difficult decisions that a mother can make. We are grateful that you would consider us, and we would be honored to make you and your child a part of our family. Having an open adoption is very important to us and it means not only having love for a child but also having love for that child’s family.

We know it won’t always be easy, but we are committed to the hard work required to blend two families together. At the end of the day, we have more people in our lives to love. We want to get to know you, learn where you came from, and establish a relationship that will give your child a healthy happy life. We think it takes a village to raise a family, and we would love to add you, and your village, to ours.

Eric
 and Kristen
Completed Educational Sessions
  • Behavioral and Emotional Needs of Adoptive Children
  • Child Separation, Attachment, and Bonding

It is our sincere desire that we will have a very open relationship with you.

We would like you to become an extension of our family. We would want you to attend our other children’s parties, family events, and holidays. We picture sitting next to you and cheering together at a football game or doing a standing ovation at a dance recital.

We want you to be the first person to see the video of a first giggle, or the picture after a lost tooth. We want to be holding hands with you as we hold back our tears during graduation.
We hope that we can build a relationship with you that not only lasts but gets stronger with time.

OUR COMFORT LEVEL WITH DIFFERENT ADOPTION OPTIONS

Meeting together before placement:  
Meeting your family members:  
Exchanging phone numbers:  
Following each other on social media:  
Supporting your adoption counseling:  
Being with you for your prenatal visits:  
Discussing baby names with you:  
Shopping together for baby’s needs:  
Inviting you to see the nursery:  
Being at the hospital during delivery:  
Caring for baby when you are ready:  
Inviting you to workshops, picnics, etc.:  
Keeping you up-to-date with photos:  
Keeping in touch by written messages:  
Keeping in touch with phone calls:  
Keeping in touch with video chats:  
Getting together in person:  
Sharing your photos, gifts, etc. you send:  
Including you in some family photos:  
Introducing you to our extended family:  
Inviting you to some family events:  
LEGEND

It is our sincere desire that we will have a very open relationship with you.

We would like you to become an extension of our family. We would want you to attend our other children’s parties, family events, and holidays. We picture sitting next to you and cheering together at a football game or doing a standing ovation at a dance recital.

We want you to be the first person to see the video of a first giggle, or the picture after a lost tooth. We want to be holding hands with you as we hold back our tears during graduation.
We hope that we can build a relationship with you that not only lasts but gets stronger with time.

Just one more thing...

It is our sincere desire that we will have a very open relationship with you.

We would like you to become an extension of our family. We would want you to attend our other children’s parties, family events, and holidays. We picture sitting next to you and cheering together at a football game or doing a standing ovation at a dance recital.

We want you to be the first person to see the video of a first giggle, or the picture after a lost tooth. We want to be holding hands with you as we hold back our tears during graduation.
We hope that we can build a relationship with you that not only lasts but gets stronger with time.

To Learn More About This Family
Call or Text: 616-451-0245
(616) 451-0245
(616) 451-0245
Greater Hopes
2453 28th Street SW
Wyoming, MI 49519